We are now liveblogging BlizzCon 2010. A refresh is required to view updates!
11:00AM - Opening Ceremony begins.
11:01AM - Gary Platner - Lead Environment Artist on WoW enters stage.
11:04AM - Blizzard CEO & President Mike Morhaime enters stage.
11:05AM - Mike discusses WoW's five year anniversary, and the fact that WoWs population is at 12 million and growing.
11:09AM - Starcraft 2 team working on new game types, Starjeweled, Blizzard DOTA. Will be free.
11:10AM - New Charity pet, a moonkin coming in November for World of Warcraft.
11:12AM - 2010 is a big year for Blizzard, as they will be launching two games. Blizzard has not put out two games in one year since 1998. Of course, the two games are StarCraft II and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
11:15AM - 11:19AM Highlight reel of past year. Starts with Blizzcon 2009, noting the Diablo III Monk class reveal and WoW Cataclysm announcement. BlizzCon dance contest follows. StarCraft 2 global launch, gamers from all around the world talking about the launch of StarCraft 2. StarCraft 2 International competition montage. Winner Fruit Dealer shown (guy won $90,000!). Reel ends.
11:19AM - Fruit Dealer and Slayers Box(sp?) will participate in an exhibition match for StarCraft II.
11:20AM - Mike discusses the BlizzCon 2010 schedule.
11:21AM - Jay Mohr returns to host costume contest at BlizzCon. This is his fourth year in a row.
11:21AM - Mike needed a band with the power to kill a yak from 200 yards away with mind bullets, and plays their guitars with picks of destiny, Tenacious D, the only band that could possibly top Ozzy from last year.
11:22AM - Cataclysm launches Dec 7, beta test has been going great. Can play Cataclysm beta at Blizzcon.
11:23AM - Players can pre-order Cataclysm directly from Blizzard and pre-load the game content so that players can get started right away. Catacylsm launches midnight PST on Dec. 7. Pre-orders will go live soon.
11:24AM - Diablo 3 reveal...
11:24AM - Christ Metzen, Senior VP of Creative Development enters stage.
11:25AM - Chris plays a game with the audience. Word association. First word: Horde. Crowd cheers/boos.
11:26AM - Second word: Diablo.
11:26AM - Third word: Alliance
11:27AM - Fourth word: Have you played any RTS lately? Starcraft.
11:29AM - Fifth word: Geek.
11:30AM - Chris kicks off a slideshow discussing the meaning of "Geek."
11:35AM - This is going on way too long.. Get to the point Chris!
11:36AM - Chris shows a slide of a Night Elf and makes a joke about watching the Navi hunting in the jungle. Lols all around.
11:39AM - GEEK bit finally ends.
11:40AM - "Phase 2" begins. Chris explains pointo f the bit, Blizzard makes giant video games, and that it can often feel like big business, but that the truest spirit of BlizzCon are the fans, and that BlizzCon is about the collective geekiness. Ahh, it all comes together. BlizzCon is about inspiration.
11:41AM - Chris gets to business now. Diablo fans, where you at?!
11:41AM - Last ofur years they've been debuting the latest Diablo III classes. Fifth and final PC class for Diablo III coming. Traile begins
11:42AM - Hooded figure in armor leans over a corpse. Crows cawing.
11:44AM - DEMON HUNTER REVEALED.
11:45AM - Chick is rocking sweet armor and dual crossbows. That's right, dual crossbows.
11:46AM - Diablo III gets PvP battle arenas. PvP trailer shown. PvP battles playable at BlizzCon.
11:53AM - Opening Ceremony concludes.
Check back at 12:30PM PST for our liveblog of the Diablo III gameplay section.
12:28PM - Diablo 3 section begins.
12:28PM - Demon Hunter users traps and gadgets. She's in it for one and one thing only, killing demons. Will do whatever it takes to make sure hell doesn't get a foothold in sanctuary.
12:29PM - First skill revealed for Demon Hunter. Bola Shot, wraps around target. Vault - Shadow theme. Spike Trap - gadgets and shadow, sense of preparation.
12:31PM - Grenades, can bounce off the floor, off the walls. Demon Hunter is about ranged attacks, gadgetry, preparation, planning. "Pre-meditated demon killing going on."
12:32PM - Multi Shot returns for Diablo 3.
12:33PM - Kevin Martiens Lead Content Designer comes on stage. Discusses new changes for Diablo III. Kevin discusses the skill UI reiterations. From tabbed to list, to the current UI. The UI makes it easier for players to manage their skills at a glance. Leveling up unlocks slots, and you can place skills into seven slots. The new UI makes it easier to upgrade skills. Players can put up to 5 points in a skill initially, but there will be ways to increase this limit.
12:36PM - New skills are being discussed by Wyatt Cheng, Diablo III Technical Game Designer. Barbarian gets a ranged attack called Ancient Spear. However, he is still a melee character and they don't want anyone to get confused about this. Wizard's are getting Meteor from Diablo II, though it is re-invisioned. You can acquire runes for Meteor, which makes it way more awesome.
12:37PM - Witch Doctor gets Spirit Walk, turns into corporeal form and pass through enemies, allows him to teleport to a location. Monk gets the Wave of Light that summons a mystical bell that is a combination of a ranged and melee attack.
12:38PM - Traits are being discussed by Jay Wilson, Diablo III game director. Traits are passive skills that allow players to diversify character builds. Traits are gained every other level. Traits alter core attributes and mechanics of your class. Barbarians can be stronger with Traits, Wizards can focus on elemental skills with traits. Traits help add flavor to the game world by giving players flavor text that tell you something about the Diablo III world.
Barbarian Inner Rage trait shown. "While most orders teach the merits of calming the seas of the soul, guardians of Arreat have embraced the raging inner storm" - Chronicler Raygres.
Wizard Trait - Prismatic Cloak - increaes the effects of ice armor and storm armor by 100%. "An icy mist that freezes to the bone, the low hum and spark of electricity in the air...even touching a Wizard can have dire consequences."
12:41PM - Blizzard implemented traits to push character customization. Diablo II had attribute points to foster customization, but most players used the same build, even across classes. Traits are meant to make these builds unique to classes. Barbarians can take Legendary Might to increase strength, or Iron Skin for more armor. Berserker Barbarians can take traits to increase attack rates and power of debuffs on enemies. Every class has roughly 30 traits, can spend 1-5 points in each trait, totalling 90 points per character. However, only 30 points can be acquired, ensuring variety in builds.
12:43PM - Active vs. Passive Skills. Active skills now completley make up the skill system, while the more math-related passive skills are better suited to Traits. They don't want them to be boring though, so you won't have traits that give you .01% more armor. The customization will be straightforward and simple to grasp, trait values will be bigger.
12:44PM - Discusses what they aren't happy with regards to Traits. Gaining traits every other level they aren't sure about, they think there are too many traits, and the UI needs work.
12:45PM - Kevin begins to discuss the new Talisman feature by referring back to Charms in Diablo II. They liked charms, but gamers kept a ton of charms and didn't have much inventory space. Talisman will solve this issue by being a dedicated inventory for your charms. The Talisman grows over time. You still have more charms than you can fit in your Talisman, but you have a dedicated spot to do it.
Charms themselves have evolved as well. Diablo II bonuses were too broad, Diablo III charms focus on your core atrributes. Bronze Cross of Brawn (magic charm) shown, confers +6 strength.
12:47PM - Julian Love "Explosions Guy" Lead Technical Artist discusses skill runes. Runes will be available in the playable version of Diablo III here at the show. Skill runes allow players to customize their skills. Similar to modifiyng items, they allow you to modify your skills by modifying what they do. Skill runes will allow for 96, 886,969, 344 builds per class.
12:51PM - Skill runes don't just change what a skill does, but also changes the way each skill looks. Zombie bears illustrated as an example.
12:52PM - Five types of runes: Crimson, Indigo, Obsidian, Golden, Alabastar. Each type is loosely themed. Example Witch Doctor - Poison Dart is used. Indigo runes allows Poison Dart to rapid fire. Alabastar Rune changes Poison Dart into a fired off snake that wraps itself around the enemies face and stuns it.
12:54PM - Seven ranks for each rune type. The ranks make the effects of a rune more extreme. Example: Wizard - Magic Missile. Shoots 1 missile per cast un-runed. Indigo Rune rank 1 - shoots two missiles per cast. Indigo Rune rank 7 - tons and tons of missiles.
12:55PM - Weapon Throw for Barbarian. Obsidian Rune changes it into a hammer that stuns characters. Indigo rune changes it into an AOE by ricocheting. Golden rune allows the Barbarian to throw a corpse as a weapon.
More examples. Wizard - Hydra. Crimson Rune - chilling breath. Indigo - Lightning hydra, never misses. Alabastar - Arcane Hydra, shoots mini arcane orbs for AOE damage. Obsidian - acid hydra, melts monsters. Golden rune - creates fire walls.
12:58PM - Witch Doctor - Plague of Toads. Runes can allow for fire toads, a rain of toads, giant toads that eats enemies (doesn't digest the loot though!).
12:59PM - Battle arenas. First approach to PVP. Dedicated place for all your dueling needs. People loved to duel in Diablo II. Diablo II didn't support it very well however. Battle arenas focus on team based play. Given the fact Diablo III has 97 billion builds and they can't balance everything (though they want to balance things as much as they can), they admit that some builds are going to be better than others in PvP, and focusing on team play softens that balance by making it more about your teams build than your own build.
1PM - Items, skills traits from PVE characters transfer over to PvP. It's about taking a PvE character and building it into a PVP monster. Zombie bears shown in PvP.
1:01PM - Some skills designed specific for PvP.
1:02PM - PvE has a lot of controls, so PvP has a lot of counters so you can get out of crowd control instead of being focused on CC. Witch Doctor fears Barbarian, Barbarian uses Ignore Pain to break out of it. They show combos such as a Wizard teleporting to someone, freezing them, and shattering them with a Meteor.
1:03PM - PvP battles are not single bouts but several rounds (round limit not nailed down yet). Battle.net will offer PVP match making and they are looking into custom games outside of ranking systems. They also want to allow for 1on1 even though it wont be balanced. Finally, there will be a progression-based ranking system as opposed to StarCraft II's skill-based ranking system. If you win a match, you get points, which gives you an advancement in rank, giving you titles, achievements, etc. Losing also awards progression points.
1:04PM - Q&A portion skipped, no time. Diablo III panel ends. :(
Check back at 4:30PM PST for our WoW Live Raids liveblog.
4:46PM - WoW Live Raid panel begins.
4:49PM - The raid being demoed is the Defense of Orgrimmar. There are many twilight drakes attacking Orgrimmar. Paragon (the EU guild who downed Lich King 25 Heroic first) will be defending Orgrimmar. Paragon has no idea what is coming. Magmadar has also been spawned as well as some other old favorites from Molten Core.
4:50PM - Paragon attacks, forming strats on the fly. Things aren't looking too good, Paragon is taking a ton of damage. Panelists joke "You guys want to stay out of the fire!"
4:51PM - The raid seems to be in the process of getting wiped and most of the bosses have been barely dented.
4:52 - One of the panelists comments that the WoW team learned from last year and they are not giving anyone any free wins during the live raid panel this time.
4:53PM - Paragon respawns and buffs back up, ready to go jump into the fray.
4:54PM - Shazzrah is at 40%, but things aren't going too well.
4:55PM - Paragon wipes.
4:56PM - Paragon gets ready to jump in for round three.
4:57PM - Paragon is trying to spread the bosses around. They take down Gehennas.
4:58PM - Paragon goes for Magmadar next, while Shazzrah really puts the pressure on them.
5:00PM - Magmadar goes down.
5:00PM - Paragon switches to Baron Geddon.
5:01PM - Baron Geddon goes down. Last but not least is Shazzrah.
5:02PM - Paragon takes out Shazzrah, completing wave one of the Defense of Orgrimmar.
5:02PM - Blackwing Lair bosses and Blackrock Spire bosses spawn in on Paragon.
5:05PM - The panelists suggest that Paragon take out Chromaggus first. Paragon is formulating a strategy before heading in.
5:05PM - Paragon goes for Drakkisath first.
5:08PM - Drakkisath goes down.
5:08PM - Paragon switches to Chromaggus, while a Goblin DK tanks The Beast away from the main fight.
5:10PM - Chromaggus goes down. Paragon switches to Broodlord Lashlayer. For those of you curious, Paragon is bringing roughly 200,000 DPS to the fight.
5:11PM - Panelists joke about initiating wave 3 while Paragon tanks and spanks wave 2. Lashlayer goes down, and Paragon now focuses on the final boss, The Beast.
5:12PM - The Beast goes down. Wave 2 complete.
5:13PM - Wave 3 consists of four Cataclysm bosses that have been "juiced up." Each boss is pushing something like 21 million HP. One of the panelists comments this is no big deal when you're bringing 200K DPS. One of the other panelists notes that there are four of them, which makes things just a wee bit different.
5:16PM - The bosses being fought are Throngus, Ozruk, Rom'ogg Bonecrusher. Throngus really hurt Paragon with a massive flame shield attack.
5:17PM - Rom'ogg's adds are really taking out Paragon, leading to a wipe.
5:19PM - Paragon goes in for round two.
5:20PM - Rom'ogg is first on the agenda. 300K DPS...
5:21PM - Paragon is taking heavy losses, it's looking pretty bad.
5:22PM - Wow. Paragon takes down Rom'ogg with only two raid members living and all tanks dead.
5:22PM - The panel is running a bit late, so they are moving on to phase four, skipping the other three bosses.
5:23PM - The dragons begin their assault on Orgrimmar using an aerial attack. The dragons attacking Orgrimmar include Firemaw, Warchief Rend Blackhand, Vaelian the Corrupt, and Pheralion.
5:26PM -Firemaw goes down.
5:27PM - Paragon gets a buff, as their DPS now skyrockets to 7 million. One of the panelists casually mentions that he "migt have helped them a little."
5:28PM - Paragon takes out Rend Blackhand. Panelists promise a special treat. Pheralion is the last boss.
5:29PM - Deathwing flies in to Orgrimmar torching all of Paragon instantly.
5:30PM -The WoW Live Raid panel concludes.